By Dr. Raymond B. Flannery Jr. from American Mental Health Foundation Books: Building a more humane society
In part 1 of this essay
we examined the nature of psychological trauma, an individual's physical and psychological response to sudden, usually unexpected, potentially life-threatening events, and the emergence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
thirty-one days later. We reviewed the disruptions that may occur in the domains of good physical and mental health (reasonable mastery, caring attachments, and a meaningful purpose in life) and the physical, intrusive, and avoidant trauma symptoms that may accompany these frightening critical incidents.
In part 2 we turn our attention to the various treatment interventions that have been shown to be effective in treating trauma victims. Just as there is no one approach to treating cancer or heart disease at present, there is no single intervention for all trauma victims. Different interventions are helpful to different victims and a good treatment plan includes the individual's personal characteristics (e.g., age, gender, and previous victimization), the relevant evidence-based research, and the therapist's clinical judgment as to specific needs. Treatment interventions range from psychological first aid and crisis intervention procedures to cognitive behavior therapy, image desensitization, psychotherapy, and various medications. Each victim and therapist needs to consider the best approach(s) in any individual case. [See (1) for full review.]